12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring - Compare and Contrast

November 13, 2012
2013 Mazda CX 5 Grand Touring Front Left View 2
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Long-Term 2013 Mazda CX-5 Update - FALL 2012 (3 OF 3)
Miles: 17,629
Back in May, we conducted a comparison test between the three newest offerings in the compact crossover segment: the Mazda CX-5, the Ford Escape, and the Honda CR-V. We proclaimed the CX-5 the Goldilocks of the bunch ("it's just right") and gave it the crown of the competition. Since then, we've gotten another crack at the Escape and at Hyundai's all-new (and larger) Santa Fe Sport and driven them with our Four Seasons CX-5 fresh in our minds.
2013 Mazda CX 5 Grand Touring Front Right View
After driving our CX-5 back-to-back with a new 2013 Ford Escape equipped with the 1.6-liter turbo-four and a traditional six-speed automatic, associate web editor Ben Timmins remarked that "while the Mazda's transmission is not revolutionary, it is well ahead of many competitors, including numerous dual-clutch 'boxes." While the six speed may not be our favorite part of the CX-5 thanks to its insistence to hold sixth gear, it's a trade-off we're willing to make to have a crossover that is both engaging to drive and efficient at the pump.
"The Hyundai does a lot of things better than the Mazda," notes associate editor David Zenlea. "It's roomier and more versatile, has a richer looking interior, boasts a more advanced infotainment system, has more power, and gets the same fuel economy." Granted, the Hyundai is a class larger and costs more than our $29,165 CX-5 - a the loaded Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Zenlea drove retailed for $35,625 and its 2.0-liter turbo-four produced an additional 109 hp over our CX-5's naturally-aspirated unit. However, that didn't sway his feelings for the CX-5: "Yet, the moment I got back into the CX-5 after my flight home and turned toward the parking lot exit, my mind was made: this is the crossover I'd want. The CX-5 doesn't just steer and handle well for a crossover - it steers and handles well, period. And it's actually fun."
2013 Mazda CX 5 Grand Touring Front Left View 2
Associate web editor Jake Holmes wasn't quite as enamored with the Mazda in comparison to the Hyundai or the Ford, though. "I don't dislike the interior design of the CX-5 and it's considerably easier to use than that of the 2013 Ford Escape, but boy does this cabin look old-fashioned compared to rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Escape thanks to the orange digital clock and burnt-orange climate control illumination." Ultimately it comes down to this: how much sport would you like your sport utility vehicle to have? If you know what "body roll" is, you'll buy the Mazda. If you're more concerned with on-ramps and plush rides, you'll go for the Ford; if you want more cargo space, head for your local Hyundai dealership.
Body style: 4-door crossover
Accommodation: 5-passenger
Construction: Unibody construction
Base price: (with dest.) $27,840
As tested: $29,165
Engine: 16-valve DOHC I-4
Displacement: 2.0 liters (121.9 cu in)
Power: 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 150 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission type: 6-speed automatic
Drive: Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy: 26/32/29 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering: Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock: 2.7 turns
Turning circle: 36.7 ft.
Suspension, front: Control arm, coil spring
Suspension, rear: Control arm, coil spring
Brakes f/r: Vented/solid disc
Wheels: 19-inch aluminum alloy
Tires: Toyo A23
Tire size: 225/55VR-19 (99V)
Headroom f/r: 39.0/39.0 in
Legroom f/r: 41.0/39.3 in
Shoulder room f/r: 57.5/55.5 in
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Track f/r: 62.4/62.5 in
L x W x H: 178.7 x 72.4 x 65.7 in
Passenger capacity: 102.3 cu ft
Cargo capacity: 34.1/65.4 cu ft
Weight: 3272 lb
Weight dist. f/r: 58/42%
Fuel capacity: 14.8 gal
Est. fuel range: 429 miles
Fuel grade: 87 octane (regular unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT 2.0-liter DOHC I-4 engine 6-speed automatic transmission 19-inch aluminum wheels Rear window defogger Rain-sensing variable intermittent wipers Intermittent rear wiper Automatic halogen headlights Rear spoiler Fog lights Power sunroof Tilt-and-telescopic steering column Cruise control Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity Leather-trimmed seats Carpet floor mats Automatic dual-zone climate control Keyless entry 40/20/40-split folding rear seats 5.8-inch color display w/rearview camera 9-speaker Bose audio system Auxiliary audio jack USB port 8-way power adjustable driver's seat w/power lumbar support Front and rear center armrests Heated front seats Stability and traction control Hill-start assist
Grand Touring Technology package $1,325 Navigation Auto-leveling HID headlights Adaptive front lighting Security system Keyless entry and ignition Auto-dimming mirror w/Homelink

Long-Term 2013 Mazda CX-5 Reviews to Date:

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